Performance, Device, Support Issues & Boot Camp

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by fredtheedit, May 9, 2006.

  1. fredtheedit


    This thread is not intended as a bashing session but is intended to share with other users and the Parallels folks my personal experience with their support team, performance & device issues when using their workstation for OSX.

    When I read about this product I was extremely excited. When I saw video's on the net about the performance of this product I was amazed! So what did I go and do? I sold my HP laptop that ran Windows XP extremely well. I already have a Mac Mini G4 that I run a radio station on. It runs well. But having seen this product prompted me to sell my HP and dive into purchasing a 17 Inch i-Mac 1.83 GHZ machine with 160 gig HD & 512mb ram and I even purchased an additional 1-GIG of ram so I wouldn't have any hiccups with this "Parallels Workstation" product.

    I install Parallels "Beta 6" on my brand new shiny i-Mac. Everything installs very smoothly. I set the Memory up on the preferences section on the Parallels product to 512 MB of Ram. So I go on to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 on the Parallels workstation application. Installation was as smooth as anyone could expect. Then the fun kicks right in!

    Boot time was nice. I was like "WOW" this is going to be so great!

    Now I install Microsoft 's "dotnetfx.exe" & what happens? It hangs!. So I am like whoa. I can't install this? I need to run my Pro audio apps! I reboot the workstation after a hard shut down cuz yes folks it froze! Ok. So I said let me just run other things like Sony's Sound Forge Version 8b. Oh man does the application take a thousand years to come up! I was like "Man! Sound Forge on Windows 98 off of Virtual PC on My Mac Mini G4 Runs so much faster than this!" Here I am scratching my head. Mind you, I have a Clean install of OSX and no apps installed. I have no other devices attached at this moment. Can you beleive it?

    Then I want to get data off my "FIREWIRE Hard Drive" that I used flawlessly on my PC Laptop when I had it and guess what? NO DICE! Paralles Workstation doesn't even see it! I am like WHAT???? Then I try to use the Shared Folders Option. Guess what? Doesn't work! I am like "oh man this is so not happening." I mean in VM ware this is a drag and drop feature and in Virtual PC that feature actually works but you can't drag and drop stuff from one window into another. Sup with that Paralles?

    So now I get paranoid right. I throw out the image I made with the Parallels workstation and start over again. I figured maybe I just need to do another "CLEAN" install. So I do.

    Boot time is nice. Speedy! But,things take a million years to come up after that. Like the menu's & internet explorer and so forth. So much disk access going on. I am like "this thing runs at 90% native speed? Seems more like 20% to me!" Mind you I have nothing installed at all on my Mac that could be hogging up resources. I have used the Macintosh machines, operating system and apps since the Quadra 650. I am extremley farmilar with the platform. I support it in the information technology world. Meaning, I would so know if OSX was being bogged down. Then that would be a contributing factor. But in this case it is not.

    Ok, so I say let me tweak out Windows. So I do all the performance tweaks that one can possibly do. Sure I get much better response but not adaquet enough to make me say I am glad that this Parallels Workstation for OSX product exists.

    I have used VM ware on a PC machine like my trusty HP and it worked AWESOME! You would expect that Parallels would have the same kind of performance because let's face it. Your running an "INTEL CORE DUO". Well it doesnt seem that this is really the case here. I feel like I am back in the days of Pentium II and mind you that ran better than what I am experiencing here.

    I perform pro audio functions on both platforms. I use Digital Performer, Reason 3.0 on my Mac and other tools, plug-ins etc. I use Vegas 6.0d and Sound Forge 8b on my PC along with other tools, plug-ins etc. As well. So having a workstation that could allow for both platforms to co-exist on the same box and share the same display window is so great!

    Not happening right now with this product. Someone said on the forums that this product ran better than their 3.2 GHZ P4 machine. I don't think so. I am so very dissapointed. Performance is slow and simple application installs don't work right and it seems buggy at the moment.

    I know this is still in beta but what a dissapointing impression. I already pre-ordered the product from the Parallels team before trying it all out. Too excited and jumped the gun. I am hoping that this all will change. I am rather feeling like a fool at the moment for jumping the gun. I know better than this but I was so seriously convinced. At least Apple has come through with a solution that I tell you works extremely well.

    Boot Camp!

    It runs Windows so fast it's unreal!!! Mind you. EVERYTHING works perfectly!!! I mean ALL of my devices are seen, even my "FIREWIRE HD"! My capture cards and my external webcam along with ALL USB devices. It runs AWESOME!!!!!!!

    Some say oh yeah "Boot Camp Is For Games". I say yeah right! It's also for pure performance and its for ALL of your devices that are PC / MAC based too! I have used Boot Camp and let me tell you IT RULES!!!! I mean WOW!! But, the reason why I am hoping that PARALLELS WORKSTATION will work is because switching between two operating systems sucks! This is where Parallels shines.

    My experience with the Parallels support team is sub par. Check this out. I write them using their
    feedback and support interface on their web page. Guess what? NO responses from them. It's like they are saying "WHO GIVES A SHYT WHAT YOU THINK YOU STATISTIC YOU!!!" That is how I feel about it because I wrote them with questions no response. I wrote them with positive feedback no response. I am like "What kind of company is this man?" It feels to me like being out in the cold. But mind you they send me an activation key to extend the duration of the product. I am like " Check that out, won't take out time to respond to my inquery's but yet they will send me a activation key and mind you they had no problem with processing my pre-order but with everything else it's like "WHAT EVER"! Not good at all I think. I hope this company will acknowledge that customers count too. My only voice is on this forum and mind you who knows if even this gets acknowledged.

    Parallels has two ways about their product. It will either be an outstanding one or it will be vaperware. I am hoping for a posittive outcome. I really want the best of both worlds PC & MAC on the same screen, on the same box. I need them BOTH! However, if I am forced to use "BOOT CAMP" because Parallels doesn't care to make things right with their product I WILL. Flat out "BOOT CAMP" works WELL!! I mean FLAWLESS! It's the best Windows you will ever see let me tell you. But, I wish that Parallels can fix all of these issues and make the WIN / MAC experience the best in the market. I want to have faith in the "Parallels Developers" but customers need to feel like the product is a great solid "SUPPORTED"one and they should ALSO have the SUPPORT of the manufacturer when they ask questions.
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  2. Sheppy


    Sounds like you're expecting Parallels to do things it's not really meant for. Virtualization really isn't suitable for heavy-duty work such as AV. Selling your PC before trying it out was a little foolish, I think. :)
  3. KaiserX


    Another one...


    /bay't*/, /be't*/ or (Commonwealth) /bee't*/ n. 1. Mostly
    working, but still under test; usu. used with `in': `in beta'. In
    the Real World, systems (hardware or software) software often go
    through two stages of release testing: Alpha (in-house) and Beta
    (out-house?). Beta releases are generally made to a group of lucky
    (or unlucky) trusted customers. 2. Anything that is new and
    experimental. "His girlfriend is in beta" means that he is still
    testing for compatibility and reserving judgment. 3. Flaky;
    dubious; suspect (since beta software is notoriously buggy).

    Historical note: More formally, to beta-test is to test a
    pre-release (potentially unreliable) version of a piece of software
    by making it available to selected (or self-selected) customers and
    users. This term derives from early 1960s terminology for product
    cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout
    the industry. `Alpha Test' was the unit, module, or component test
    phase; `Beta Test' was initial system test. These themselves came
    from earlier A- and B-tests for hardware. The A-test was a
    feasibility and manufacturability evaluation done before any
    commitment to design and development. The B-test was a
    demonstration that the engineering model functioned as specified.
    The C-test (corresponding to today's beta) was the B-test performed
    on early samples of the production design, and the D test was the C
    test repeated after the model had been in production a while.
  4. fredtheedit


    I agree with you "Sheppy" on me selling my machine. I got excited. Sometimes you got to pay the piper. I thought that virtualization like direct to processor functions would allow for at the least Audio editing, mixing etc. What can you do right? When you are right you are right. I still give a thumbs up for the developers of this product because no one is stepping up to the plate like they are for the Mac platform. I just hope when the Golden master is released the product will shine.

    "KAISERX" As far as the definitions of what "BETA" means is not needed in this thread. An intelligent response would of been great. Feels more like you are in the "Put Someone Down Mood". Your response is for people who just don't know what the term means. I know what it means. I just expected too much and I just have to have much needed patience for these developers to come up with a finalized working solution.

    "Sheppy" If the product doesn't meet my expectations then I have to stick with "BOOT CAMP". At least that is a proven solution. Besides. I happen to feel that even though I sold my PC I am MUCH happier with my i-Mac because it's the best OSX I have ever seen and having the best of both worlds feels like the right choice.
  5. MarkHolbrook


    Well I think the original author needed some education frankly. I mean he sold a windows laptop assuming he could do hard core AV on Parallels before trying it?

    Then when it freezes or hangs he claims their support sucks because he doesn't personal attention. He seems not to understand there are 100,000+ beta testers. I would bet the support form is used 100 times a day. A small company in this phase can't keep up with that rate.

    I'm not putting him down but in my case I bought an intel Mac Mini and "tested" the waters before I sold my G4 powerbook and bought the MBP.

    Also in my case I use it for something very simple. A delphi compiler and starteam. But for me that is what I need and man does it ever work nice.

    boot camp is great but again you are out of OS X and for me that means out of email and other things I treasure about being in OS X.

    I think he needs to rethink how he goes about jumping in with both feet in the future. I for one think Parallels will eventually do what he wants very well. Probably never quite as good as boot camp due to overhead in virtualization but it will be very good none the less.

  6. beley


    I have to say, I did this too... only when I heard about BootCamp. I had a 2Ghz PC laptop with 1GB RAM and a 100 GB hard drive that I just bought a few months ago, but oh I was itching to get another Mac (I was a Mac guy for years).

    The only problem is that I use proprietary apps that aren't available for Mac yet... some including Act!, IBP Pro, GroupMail, Servers Alive and more.

    So, when Apple announced Boot Camp I stuck my laptop on the shelf and drove to my apple store and purchased a gleaming new MacBook Pro. I got home, installed all the Apple apps I could find and got it up and running pretty smoothly.

    Then I installed Boot Camp and installed all the windows apps I could possibly need. Man, this thing is awesome! It runs at least twice as fast as my windows PC. These new dual-core chips are just awesome!!

    Not to dis on Parallels, but virtualization just isn't practical for anything really resource intensive. You're still splitting up your available resources too much to see much speed from them. However, I do have Parallels installed and have several VM's that I use for development testing.

    I have a Windows XP, Windows 98 (still working on getting this one up and running), and Linux that I test our web applications in different browsers and operating systems. For this purpose, it's AWESOME and well worth $40. Just being able to keep my IDE open and test in another OS, change the code, test again is priceless. We were troubleshooting a bug yesterday that would've taken us all day if we couldn't just flip over to XP and back again.

    So the moral of the story is know what you need. If you need a full-speed production work environment for pro level apps, use Boot Camp. If you need a testing environment, or are just using simple office apps Parallels would work just fine.

    And please, remember that it's still in beta. It's got bugs, it doesn't have all the functionality yest (like drivers, support for devices, etc). It's not because it's inferior, it's because it's not finished yet!
  7. yoyon7



    I do not read you instaled the Parallels Tools. It makes a diference in performance, belive me.


    P: They have responded to my questions on mail
  8. Tummy


    Just a reminder that Boot Camp is in Beta as well. Microsoft and Apple do not support it if you run into problems.

    I also think that Boot Camp is much less complex than Parallels Workstation. Apple also has the benefit of developing the hardware, so device driver support is probably much easier for them.
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
  9. mcg


    It's really rather simple:

    --- If raw performance is more important than running both OS's simultaneously, use Boot Camp.
    --- If running both OS's simultaneously is more important than raw performance, use Parallels.
    --- If you demand both: you're being unrealistic. Choose one or the other, and repeat the above.

    While I personally happen to be satisfied with Parallels' performance under Windows, I certainly know it's not the fastest option. And while I'm also sure Parallels will continue to improve performance as time goes by, it's simply unrealistic to expect it to ever be as fast as dual boot in every circmstance.
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
  10. Tommo_UK


    I hate to sound too glib, but if you want to do pro-audio work, just use Logic under OS X - it'll probably blow the pants off whatever WinTel package you're using :rolleyes:
  11. Solar


    I've installed and use both, at the expense of having to keep two separate Win XP installations up-to-date. For most things, Parallels is fine and saves having to re-boot. For games and such, Boot Camp does the trick.

    But I agree that if you set your expectations for Parallels too high, you'll be disappointed.

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